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'Till all the demon makes his full descent
Behold Sir Balaam now a man of spirit,
His counting-house employ'd the Sunday morn :
There (so the Devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
A nymph of quality admires our knight;
Leaves the dull cits, and joins (to please the fair)
First, for his son a gay commission buys,
Who drinks, whores, fights, and, in a duel, dies:
His daughter flaunts a viscount's tawdry wife;
"-atque unum civem donare Sibyllæ.-Juv.
37 Instead of the last four lines are only these two in the folio editions:
"Wife, son, and daughter, Satan, are thy prize,
["Fell under the temptation: alluding to the story of Job referred to above."-Warburton. On this passage of Job, Warton quotes an amusing observation made by Warburton in his Divine Legation-a passage which would have afforded infinite mirth and satire to Pope if it had been made by
Allen Apsley, Lord Bathurst, to whom this Epistle is addressed, was one of the most genial and agreeable of Pope's noble friends. His lordship was born in 1684, and was thus four years older than the poet. He was in Parliament as soon as he was of age, first as representative of the borough of Cirencester, near which his paternal estate and influence lay; and in 1711 he was one of the twelve new peers created in one day to give the Administration a majority in the Upper House. Another of those creations was the poetical George Granville, Lord Lansdowne. The same gazette that recorded the accession of the twelve new peers, contained the announcement that her Majesty had removed the Duke of Marlborough from all his employmentsa memorable achievement of faction, in which Swift had a principal share. Bathurst was also a Tory, but neither vindictive nor violent. He generally voted against Walpole and the Court measures-protested against the attainder of Bolingbroke and the Duke of Ormond-and exerted himself strenuously and with distinguished ability in favour of Atterbury, when the bill of pains and penalties was carried against that restless and intriguing, though able and eloquent prelate. One sarcasm of Bathurst's on this occasion was peculiarly happy and forcible. Some of the bishops had been conspicuous for their servility towards the minister, and their rancour towards Atterbury; and Lord Bathurst, turning to the right reverend bench, said he could not account for the inveterate hatred and malice some persons bore the learned and ingenious Bishop of Rochester, unless it were that they were intoxicated with the infatuation of some of the wild Indians, who fondly believe that they inherit, not only the spoils, but even the abilities, of any great enemy they kill! Bathurst continued true to his political friends. Late in life he held office for a short time, being Treasurer to the Prince of Wales but on the accession of George III., in 1760, he declined accepting any appointment, and retired with a pension of £2000 per annum. His rural improvements at his seat near Cirencester, his books, friends, field sports, and general society, kept him in cheerful and constant employment. Sterne has given us a picture of him in advanced life. "He (Lord Bathurst) came
Dennis, or some Whig divine. "The wife of Job," remarks the learned commentator, "acts a small part in this drama, but a very spirited one. Then said his wife unto him, ' Dost thou still retain thy integrity? Curse God and die.' Tender and pious! He might see by this prelude of his spouse, what he was to expect from his friends. The devil, indeed, assaulted Job, but he seems to have got possession of his wife!"]
up to me one day as I was at the Princess of Wales's Court. 'I want to know you, Mr. Sterne, but it is fit you should know also who it is that wishes that pleasure. You have heard (continued he) of an old Lord Bathurst, of whom your Popes and Swifts have sung and spoken so much. I have lived my life with geniuses of that cast, but have survived them; and, despairing ever to find their equals, it is some years since I have cleared my accounts and shut up my books, with thoughts of never opening them again. But you have kindled a desire in me of opening them once more before I die, which now I do; so go home and dine with me.' This nobleman is a prodigy, for at eighty-five he has all the wit and promptness of a man of thirty, a disposition to be pleased and a power to please others beyond whatever I knew; added to which, a man of learning, courtesy and feeling." Another portrait has been drawn not less characteristic. About two years before his death, having some friends with him at his country seat, and being loth to part with them one night, his son, the Lord Chancellor, objected to sitting up any longer, and left the room. As soon as he was gone, the lively old peer said, “Come, my good friends, since the old gentleman is gone to bed, I think we may venture to crack another bottle!" Until within a month of his death, he constantly rode out on horseback two hours in the morning, and drank his bottle of wine after dinner. It would be unpardonable to omit here the splendid passage of Burke, in which the long and felicitous life of Lord Bathurst is apostrophised in connection with the sudden growth of American greatness. In his speech on conciliation with America, delivered in 1775, Burke said :—
"Mr. Speaker, I cannot prevail on myself to hurry over this great consideration. It is good for us to be here. We stand where we have an immense view of what is and what is past. Clouds, indeed, and darkness rest upon the future. Let us, however, before we descend from this noble eminence, reflect that this growth of our national prosperity has happened within the short period of the life of man. It has happened within sixty-eight years. There are those alive whose memory might touch the two extremities. instance, my Lord Bathurst might remember all the stages of the progress. He was in 1704 at an age at least to be made to comprehend such things. He was then old enough acta parentum jam legere, et quæ sit poterit cognoscere virtus. Suppose, Sir, that the angel of this auspicious youth, foreseeing the many virtues which made him one of the most amiable, as he is one of the most fortunate men of his age, had opened to him in vision, that, when in the fourth generation, the third Prince of the house of Brunswick had sat twelve years on the throne of that nation, which (by the happy issue of moderate and healing counsels) was to be made Great Britain, he should see his son Lord Chancellor of England, turn back the current of hereditary dignity to its fountain, and raise him to a higher rank of peerage, whilst he enriched the family with a new one. If amidst those bright and happy scenes of domestic honour and prosperity, that angel should have drawn up the curtain, and unfolded the rising glories of his country, and while he was gazing with admiration on the then commercial grandeur of England, the genius should point out to him a little speck, scarce visible in the mass of the national interest, a small seminal principle rather than a formed body, and should
tell him-'Young man, there is America, which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners, yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world. Whatever England has been growing to by a progressive increase of improvement, brought in by varieties of people, by succession of civilizing conquests, and civilizing settlements, in a series of seventeen hundred years, you shall see as much added to her by America in the course of a single life!' If this state of his country had been presented to him, would it not require all the sanguine credulity of youth, and all the fervid glow of enthusiasm, to make him believe it? Fortunate man, he has lived to see it! Fortunate, indeed, he lives to see nothing that shall vary the prospect, and cloud the setting of his day!"
No cloud was interposed, but the day was near its close: Lord Bathurst died a few months afterwards, September 16, 1775, aged 91.
Mr. Daines Barrington, in his Miscellanies, mentions it as a remarkable instance of memory-the musical memory-that Lord Bathurst, when eightyseven, sung throughout an air of Nicolini's, and imitated that popular Italian musician, though his lordship could not have heard the song for more than sixty years.
Pope said to Spence, that none of his works bad been more laboured than this Epistle. It was not in the form of a dialogue, and Lord Bathurst told Warton, that he was much surprised to see what he had, with repeated pleasure, so often read as an Epistle addressed to himself, converted into a dialogue," in which," said he, "I perceive I really make but a shabby and indifferent figure, and contribute very little to the spirit of the dialogue—if t must be a dialogue." The alterations are very slight, yet they do seem to give more point and spirit to the passages where the noble lord is introduced as an interlocutor. Pope's taste and judgment did not desert him on this occasion, but of course he has himself always the best of it in the argument! The following is a specimen of the simple process by which the Epistle was converted into a dialogue. The lines
"A knotty point! to which we now proceed.
But you are tired-I'll tell a tale. B. Agreed.
Stood originally thus :
"That knotty point, my Lord, shall I discuss,
Ver. 20. Chartres, and the Devil.] Colonel Francis Chartres (more correctly Charteris), of Amisfield, died in March, 1731-2, and Arbuthnot's striking epitaph on him appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for the following month. The name, however, was veiled under that of "Don Francisco." This notorious gambler was of a good Scotch family, and was well connected. He married Helen, daughter of Sir Alexander Swinton, Senator of the College o
Justice, by whom he had a daughter, married to the Earl of Wemyss, to whose second son he left most of his estate, and considerable portions to her other children. Charteris died at Stoneyfield, a manor-house near Edinburgh, the life-rent of which, with a legacy of £1000, he left to his law-agent, the cele brated Duncan Forbes of Culloden. Charteris said of Forbes, that his honesty was so whimsical that it was forty-five per cent. above Don Quixote. The graceless reprobate, it is said, left off swearing, when he was made aware that he was dying; and one day, under an impression that he was on the point of dissolution, he ordered, "with a great roar," that all his just debts should be paid. Hogarth, it is well known, introduced Charteris, attended by his pimp, into the first plate of his Rake's Progress. Indeed, his infamy seems to have been so conspicuous as to be one of the common topics of the day, and the outrage at his funeral marks the popular indignation.
Ver. 85. What can they give? to dying Hopkins heirs?] John Hopkins, the rapacioas citizen alluded to, died in his house at Broad Street, London, April 25, 1732. His fortune is set down in the periodicals of the day at £300,000. He left £500 to the Hospital for Incurables; £500 to be divided among poor housekeepers, at the rate of £20 to each family; and the bulk of his estate was left to the eldest son of his eldest daughter, and, in case of failure of issue male, to the surviving male heir of his other four daughters. Hopkins supposed that by the time the unborn heir was of age, the interest of his estate would amount to above £100,000. The case was brought into Court, and the Master of the Rolls decided, October 22, 1733, that the whole real estate should go to the heir-at-law, until some person, then unborn, should be born, and attain to the age of twenty-one years. An heir male was born, but died in 1737, aged only six months. There were two other rich citizens of the name of Hopkins, related to the subject of Pope's satire, who attained to as great wealth by stock-jobbing, and other means. They were members of the Kit-Cat Club, a distinction to which the Vulture seems never to have risen. In verses 291 and 292 of this Epistle, Pope alludes to the expensive funeral of Hopkins, and it is stated that Mr. Boulter, executor to Hopkins, made so splendid a funeral for him, that the expenses amounted to £7666.
Ver. 86. To Chartres, vigour? Japhet, nose and ears?] Japhet Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, was sentenced May 31, 1731, to stand in the pillory, have both his ears cut off, his nose slit, his body imprisoned for life, and his goods and chattels forfeited to the Crown, for forging writings to an estate. He stood in the pillory, June 10, and being committed to the King's Bench